Students are now patrolling a Swansea community with police after worrying reports of stalkers and assaults
Police and volunteers including students are now patrolling a Swansea park and local communities following a series of assaults and incidents of stalking and other crimes. The patrols in Singleton Park involve South Wales Police community safety officers, special constables, Swanse a University staff and police student volunteers, and also cover Brynmill, which has a high student population, and the university’s Oystermouth Road campus area. They have been introduced after Swansea University said last month it would be working with the Students’ Union to safeguard undergraduates after a number of incidents in the area over recent months.
These include a man sexually assaulting ten women and two girls in two days in Singleton. Oliver Smith is due to appear in court to be sentenced in the coming weeks.
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Changed your mind? There’s an ‘unsubscribe’ button at the bottom of every newsletter we send out. Other incidents in the area include a man climbing onto roofs to look into the bedrooms of female students, cases of indecent exposure, of women being followed as they walk home, people stalking women by driving slowly alongside them, and threats of torture.
The incidents have prompted many female students to think twice about leaving home alone fearing for their safety, particularly in the aftermath of the killing of marketing executive Sarah Everard in London earlier this month. Last month, Swansea University director of student services, Kevin Child, said the university would be ‘taking a partnership approach to help keep our community safe in light of these concerning incidents’, and urged students to download a free SafeZone app as a further personal safety measure. The new safety patrols run from late afternoon.
The university said feedback had been positive from users of the area, who said they felt reassured to see police on patrol and to know that the university and police were addressing concerns. A spokesman for the university said: “The university and our Students’ Union have been working closely with our partners in South Wales Police and the City and County of Swansea over the concerns raised regarding personal safety, amongst students and the wider community, in light of the recent media reports of experiences of sexual harassment in the local area. We welcome the increase in patrols and continue to work in partnership to identify other initiatives to provide a safer environment.”
Find out about crime levels where you live: South Wales Police said the patrols had been running every evening between 5pm and 8pm over the past three weeks and would continue for as long as necessary. Community safety inspector Claire Morgan said: “Local residents and university students have made us aware of their concerns in the Brynmill area of Swansea, and we are currently working in partnership with the University to tackle those concerns head on.
We take these concerns seriously so have enhanced our patrols in the area, including deploying special constables and police student volunteers alongside our community safety officers and neighbourhood policing teams.
Please don’t be concerned if you see officers and police student volunteers patrolling – we’re out to keep you safe and provide reassurance.
“We will continue to listen to local residents and University students and respond to issues and concerns”.